Properly founders exit as company and tech are sold in separate transactions

Sold sign in front of a house with properly logo
America real-estate giant Compass buys out Properly founders; unnamed Canadian firm acquires brokerage.

Toronto-based proptech startup Properly has been acquired, after its founders announced on LinkedIn in early September that they have exited the firm.

Details of the two separate transactions are scant, but Properly co-founder Sheldon McCormick posted on LinkedIn: “After almost six years building Properly, I’ll be moving on and taking a break!”

Properly pivoted in January and stopped offering a purchase guarantee on customer’s homes.

McCormick wrote that Properly’s co-founders worked out an undisclosed transaction with American real-estate company Compass (NYSE: COMP) to exit the startup. Compass in its second quarter filings described itself as the largest residential real-estate brokerage in the United States by transaction volume.

In its second quarter filings, Compass did not make any mention of any transaction involving Properly.

In a separate transaction, Properly’s brokerage and search portal was acquired by a “Canadian real estate innovator,” according to McCormick.

“More to be shared publicly soon,” McCormick added in his post.

BetaKit reached out to company founders for comment, but received no response back by press time.

Properly pivoted in January and stopped offering a purchase guarantee on customer’s homes. Properly said: “At this time we have paused all new Sale Assurance offers, given unprecedented volatility in the Canadian housing market.”

Originally a digital real-estate brokerage, Properly differentiated itself in the Canadian market by promising listing homeowners a “near-instant offer” on their homes, with the option to sell directly to Properly.

RELATED: Properly pivots away from home sale guarantee as real-estate market dips

Last year, Properly raised $36 million CAD in what it called a Series B2, with plans to “double-down” on its home-purchase product. However, that funding came with a pause to expansion plans across British Columbia, Ontario, and Québec, as well as cuts to a “handful” of Properly’s staff. Three months after the round, the company announced that it had laid off an additional 71 employees, approximately 37 percent of the company.

Anshul Ruparell co-founded Properly in 2018, along with Craig Dunk and McCormick. Before Properly, Ruparell founded two companies, all of which were acquired, and held roles in venture capital, private equity, and investment banking at FJ Labs, CPPIB, and Merrill Lynch.

Dunk joined Research in Motion in the mid-1990s as one of the first 50 employees, where he co-created BlackBerry Messenger. McCormick launched UberX in Canada and was the general manager for Uber in Ontario.

Properly aimed to simplify the process of buying and selling homes. The platform claimed its machine-learning solution could help homeowners determine what their home would sell for on the open market, with the option to sell directly to Properly and close quickly. In addition to its 90-day Sales Assurance, the company offered its users a price-match guarantee, meaning if the home sold for more than Properly’s offer, 50 percent of the difference was refunded to the customer.

Properly closed a $44 million CAD all-equity, all-primary Series B round led by Bain Capital Ventures (BCV), with participation from strategic investors Intact Ventures and FCT in 2021. A number of notable individuals participated in the round, including Wealthsimple founder Mike Katchen, Spencer Rascoff (co-founder and former CEO of Zillow), and Eric Wu (CEO of Opendoor), among others.

That round brought Properly’s total funding to date to $60 million CAD, but that number omits the $100 million credit facility the company secured from Silicon Valley Bank and i80 Group last fall to underwrite its Sales Assurance product.

Featured image courtesy of Properly

Charles Mandel

Charles Mandel

Charles Mandel's reporting and writing on technology has appeared in, Canadian Business, Report on Business Magazine, Canada's National Observer, The Globe and Mail, and the National Post, among many others. He lives off-grid in Nova Scotia.

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